If your mouth or jaw is hurting, it might be a dental emergency. While light to moderate pain might be a symptom of a non-urgent issue, there are many cases where pain and swelling are major warning signs.
Is your pain a dental emergency?For the tough person, ignoring pain may not be that difficult. However, there are certain conditions that you cannot overlook. Each of the conditions below is a dental emergency that may come with pain and swelling. Do not ignore these symptoms if they occur.
InjuryA hard fall can cause damage to the teeth, jaws or the soft tissue of the mouth. This damage can also happen from a blow to the mouth, a car accident or a sports injury. If you notice that any part of your mouth is painful and swollen due to trauma, you should check if any teeth are broken or cracked. A cracked tooth can be hard to detect, so touch each tooth to see if one if more painful than the rest. You should also look for any bleeding coming from the teeth or gums. A fractured tooth is a dental emergency, as is excessive bleeding. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see an emergency dentist immediately.
Tooth decayAdvanced tooth decay can cause constant pain and swollen gums. It is always a good idea to treat tooth decay and cavities in their early stages. Since tooth decay is a bacterial attack on teeth, anyone with this problem will experience inflammation in the inner tooth. This infection will also cause tender gums. When the pain becomes impossible to ignore, you should see a dentist immediately. This may not be an immediate dental emergency, but the infection can lead to problems throughout your body.
A tooth abscessOne possible result of a bacterial infection in a tooth is a dental abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms when the bacteria reach the inner tooth. Some abscesses happen at the tip of the tooth, right next to a cavity or tooth fracture. Others happen at the base of the tooth, where the root sits in the gum. Abscesses cause symptoms like:
- Constant, throbbing pain that may spread to the jaw and ear
- A swollen face or cheek
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sensitivity to heat, cold or pressure from chewing